EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMan Area Pastor Heads Protest For Local Healthcare
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kera Mashek
Web Producer: Kera Mashek
Reported: Sep. 11, 2013 9:50 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013 11:04 PM EDT
Man , Logan County , West Virginia
A local pastor is camping out---trying to bring attention to what he says is a need for healthcare in rural parts of Logan County.
Protests are nothing new to Pastor Michael Pollard. He said his home community of Man has been begging for expanded healthcare since losing its hospital 12 years ago, but a recent highway closure in Logan County is drawing more attention to the need.
With just one tent, a sign, and a petition, Rev. Michael Pollard is hoping to make a difference. Since the only hospital in Man closed more than a decade ago, it's been a struggle to get quality healthcare services in the community.
"We know how to get things done, but we just hate to always have to be fight, fight, fighting and camping, camping, camping," Pollard said. "But whatever we have to do, we're going to do it because we feel like we deserve healthcare as well as anybody else."
A newer Southern West Virginia Health System clinic is helping, but Pollard said with an aging population, more is needed. After the old Man hospital was demolished last winter, the community was told that clinic would be expanded to help, with longer hours and urgent care services and that there was even state money to help construct it. But almost a year later, it still has not been built, leaving those in Logan County frustrated.
"With Obaamcare, the Affordable Care Act, now the law of the land--it's good, but if you don't have the facilities to facilitate and help the people, then we're just over the mountain and through the woods to grandma's house," Pollard said. "We have to go to get the help that we need."
It's a need that's only been magnified this summer, with Route 10 closed, and an hour long detour to get to the closest hospital in Logan. So Pollard and the community hope the current protest will spark action, to get more healthcare services in Man.
"We need something, even if it's just an emergency room. That's all that matters: something where we can really be took care of," Logan County resident Connie Parsons said.
Eyewitness News contacted Southern West Virginia Health System to ask about the status of plans for expanding operations in man, but calls were not returned.
Meanwhile, Pollard is working to set up a meeting with the governor's office to help get the ball rolling.
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